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Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Detached



Lately, I've been feeling a bit......overworked. By this, I don't necessarily mean at work. Over the last couple of years I've been doing a lot of things that I never did growing up. These things seem to be rather basic things that everyone does but, for me, this is very abnormal.

I grew up on my own so many things about my life are different than most peoples. I don't celebrate holidays apart from Thanksgiving, Christmas and my son's birthday, and the only reason I celebrate those things is because I have a son.

My family and I have been estranged since I was very young and I grew up bouncing around from foster home to foster home. Most foster homes I had the misfortune to live in thought of me more as a slave than anything else. I was their slave, I was the one they took out their frustrations on and I was abused. So I ran away a lot. I never got gifts at Christmas but I had to watch everyone else get them. I never got a birthday party but I had to watch everyone else get them. When the foster families kids had celebrations like, communion, graduation, birthdays or whatever, I was always dragged along to watch them celebrate but none of my achievements deserved recognition. So, when I was old enough to escape and get my own place, I simply chose to ignore holidays. It was just easier.

Then I had my son and I realized, if I take all those celebrations away from him then he's going to feel the same way, so I do it for him. But since we have no family and hardly any friends to speak of its always just been him and I. I buy him way too many gifts for Christmas (I think to make up for the one thing I could never give him, family), we go bowling every year on his birthday (because he loves it) and Thanksgiving has been kind of an accident for the last 8 years. We managed to get invited to our friends house annually and later began spending it with Brian's family. Before that, I just made a nice dinner and we ate in front of the TV.

Over the last 2+ years, I've been dating Brian. He's an amazing man with an amazing family who do family things all the time. This is a bit of a shock to me. Kind of like stepping out of a steaming hot shower and jumping into the ocean. In all my years, I'd never met a family so quick to accept strangers into their family and do all the celebratory things that normal families do with them.

As sweet and kind as they are, I still find myself sitting there quietly or trying to make myself useful while everyone else chats and plays. And every time I can't help but feel like that child who is in someone else's families house celebrating their things.......not mine.

I'm not saying that I want recognition for anything or that I want my own parties or what have you. I'm simply saying that I always feel like I'm on the outside looking in, but there is no door, so I can never get in.

Even at work, I take care of other people for a living. I'm constantly, cleaning them, feeding them, doing their dishes and laundry, washing their homes, doing their shopping, running their errands, taking them to appointments and so on. Always.

At home, I take care of my son (who has disabilities) and my cat (who also has disabilities). I do the house work, cooking, I pay the bills and run the errands. I do everything. I take care of everything. Always.

I'm always the one caring for everyone else, but never myself. No one ever takes care of me (not that I need it anymore) but it just seems like again, I'm on the outside. I'm the outsider who goes to peoples houses, takes care of them and then leaves. No one ever comes to my house.

The only person in the world who has ever paid any attention to my needs is my boyfriend, Brian. He really is the sweetest man in the world and I love him dearly. But we don't live together and he's about an hour away. We only see each other on weekends at his place. It feels like I'm living 2 separate lives. The life I live 3/4's of the time at home and at work, and the other 4'th at his place. So again, I cant help but feel detached. Every aspect of my life is a picture of a circle with me standing alone outside of it.

I often wonder if it's supposed to be this way. Maybe there's a reason for it. Maybe I'm so far gone due to my upbringing that God simply cant allow me inside the circle. Or maybe that circle is my family and no matter what happens I will never be in it. It could all just be psychological or it could be that there is a bigger picture that I'm missing out on.

No matter how you look at it, I feel so.............detached. Standing alone in a world filled with people. Am I always going to be this 'substitute'?

I'm exhausted. I wish I could take a vacation, but I'd be alone there too and I'd probably do something stupid like clean the hotel room. So on I trudge, on weary legs and wounded feet, wondering if anything will ever change.

Monday, May 5, 2014

Young Adults with ADHD and Autism

This morning I was watching the news and saw something on there that bothered me and I posted it on Facebook. This started a bit of a debate between a couple of folks. I now feel the need to explain my opinion on this issue.

I posted, "Young adults with Autism and ADHD have a higher risk of using alcohol and marijuana due to the social issues caused by their disabilities." ~Channel 40 News Reports :(

A couple comments under this post were " adhd is a made up disease"....."And its insinuating marijuana is bad for you and even comparable to health risks of alcohol."

I have to very specifically address those 2 statements. First of all, ADHD is very much a real disorder. I wont say its a disease because the definition doesn't quite fit. For those of you who disagree, here you go: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Attention_deficit_hyperactivity_disorder. Now, my son has a very severe case of ADHD which does not simply make him hyper, which most people think, but it forces him stay in motion even when he's exhausted. It raises his heart rate, his blood pressure and causes him to sweat profusely. He does things that most people wouldn't do, such as, jumping off furniture, throwing himself into walls and purposely falling on the floor. He also does things like running across the street without looking, talks to himself constantly, doesn't dry off after showering, inhales his food often choking and so on. All these things (and more) have proven to be very dangerous to him and therefore requires medication to insure his safety.

I do understand that there are lots of Doctors out there who spent many years 'shutting kids up with Ritalin', and I do know that unfortunately a lot of Doctors still do this, but I can assure you, my son's Doctor did everything he could to treat my son without medicine but eventually had no choice.

Another comment in the post was that if people fed their kids healthy foods they wouldn't have such rambunctious children. I agree to that very strongly, but if its to say that all kids with ADHD are simply rambunctious kids with bad diets, I again assure you, you're wrong. I know this because I live and thrive on a very healthy diet of organic produce and fresh meats. I always follow the food charts (except we can't eat nearly as much food as the chart says to in one day.) I grow my own gardens and pick my own fruits from orchards that I tend, personally. So I know there's no pesticides or chemicals other than is found in nature in my produce. The meats I purchase are typically from our local farms and or fresh from the butcher (sometimes I cheat and buy fresh meats from the grocery store cuz I'm not rich but its never frozen and does not contain a ton of preservatives). I always incorporate multigrain foods and nuts into our meals and I cook. I don't microwave our meals. So you bet your ass my son is not a victim of shit diets like most kids are these days, which is why that cannot be the cause of his ADHD.

As for the comment about marijuana not being comparable to alcohol, that's incorrect as well. I know more people that smoke marijuana than those who don't. I find that to be one of the saddest statements I've ever made, but it's true. Having said that, I think I need to enlighten you on the affects that marijuana has on you: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Effects_of_marijuana.

I have spent the majority of my life observing people under the influence of both marijuana and alcohol and I find them to be very comparable. Though they have their differences, they vary only slightly. Pot may calm most people down but it does so in a very unnatural way. It delays your reactions both physically and mentally and causes memory loss. These are the most obvious affects I've seen. It's also why they came up with the commercial with a man frying an egg: "This is your brain (egg in a shell), this is your brain on drugs" (egg in the frying pan). It's because when one smokes pot, they become slow and dumb, and not just when under the influence but also when not (over time and with excessive use). And it is addictive, both behaviorally and physically.

Alcohol is a quicker and more damaging way to harm yourself. It is faster to cause physical illnesses, faster to cause permanent damage and faster to cause addiction. But again, it causes you to slow down. You do so because your blood is being poisoned which causes your brain to malfunction. So you become clumsy, slow to react, slow to receive information, and it causes misinterpretations of communication causing all sorts of unnecessary  behavior. If you're reading this and really so stupid as not to believe me, here you go: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Effects_of_alcohol#Short-term_effects_of_alcohol.

Having said all this, I will say that I absolutely believe that kids who are being raised with a poor diet can and will have behavioral issues, hyperactive issues, health issues and so on. YES. This is true. You know what they say, "You are what you eat." This is true (which is why I eat so healthy). If you eat a ton of sugary foods every day, you will act out, be hyper, misbehave and so on because sugar is known for causing all these things to happen if over used. If kids eat food filled with fat and preservatives all the time and never see fresh foods, they are more likely to get heart disease, be victims of obesity, have high blood pressure and so on. The fats and salts in these foods if eaten in access are known to cause physical illnesses. So, you are what you eat. If your diet is unhealthy, so are you.

There are WAY too many people who are feeding their kids this kind of diet. Then when their kids act out they go to the Doctors and complain and manage to convince them to prescribe meds. They typically  like to blame money and the down economy and so forth for it but as a single mother who struggles every day, I can tell you first hand, laziness and a lack of education (agricultural and dietary) is the culprit.

I must admit, over the last year I've had a growing fear that my son may fall into the wrong crowd and choose to smoke pot. Why? A couple of reasons. First of all, the medication he's on (which is supposedly non habit forming) is becoming a bit of a dependency for my son. He is 13 now and has been on them since he was 5 (with minor changes annually). There have been times when we ran out of meds and my son would get upset about it. When asked what the problem was he responded, "I don't like the way I feel when I don't take my meds." I understand this in 2 ways, one is that the meds are really working, the other is that he may feel the need to take his meds to calm down enough to be around other people. See, when he's off the meds, he's so out of control that he doesn't even realize other people are around and he is a serious social butterfly. He loves people. Sometimes his hyperactive ways cause them to leave. He becomes a little dangerous in some ways that just makes other people uncomfortable. So all this makes me nervous.

As time goes by typically the signs and symptoms of ADHD kind of calm down. Unfortunately for my son, it hasn't done that yet. But I try to test him by taking his meds away during the summer (which I will try again this season) to see if I can take him off of them all together. The reason I want to take him off the meds is because of the inadvertent side affects it has on him.

Unfortunately the meds my son is on cause Insomnia, Lack of Appetite and Mood Swings. So now he's on 2 additional medications to counter act 2 of the 3 side affects. When will the madness end????This has truly been troubling for me as a single mom. I work 2/3 jobs and have NEVER taken a vacation and it's all to support my son and my home. My son is about 15 pounds underweight and about 4-5" shorter than he should be for his age. His growth patterns came to an immediately halt when he started taking the medication.  Ever since it's been an uphill battle with the Doctors and with my son to fix this.

The mood swings......oh lord! When he's off the meds he's the sweetest, funniest, goofiest young man you'd ever seen! So happy, always laughing and smiling, very agreeable and helpful, very easy to get along with. But when he's on the meds, he's mad, annoyed, snotty, sarcastic, even hateful. And lately he's been expressing a need to use violence on people. This is a serious cause for concern. His teachers are complaining about his attitude and complaining about him talking back and (if you can believe this) they are pushing me to give him MORE meds!

Don't panic! I'm not crazy and I never give into pressure. I will NOT be giving my son more meds. In fact, I'm working my way to getting rid of them all together. But I'm very worried. I'm hoping going without the meds this summer will help to wean him off of them so I can finally stop giving them to him. But if he can't control himself, he'll have to go back on or else the school will kick him out. Yup, you heard me. I was threatened with it more than once. This year has been no exception.

So I can see how the studies may be right. Then again, everyone these days is a likely candidate for substance abuse. There are many reasons other than ADHD and Autism that make people feel inadequate enough to 'self medicate'.

I apologize if any of you reading this takes offense to the things I've said but I speak from both a life time of experience and solid scientific facts.

If you're a hippie and reading this then PEACE.....and for god sake PUT DOWN THE BONG, PAY YOUR TAXES AND TAKE A SHOWER!!!!

If you are a pot head and/or an alcoholic and hotly contest all I've said here then it's only because you are an addict with a problem and you're in denial. Either that or you've smoked so much pot you've lost touch with reality all together. Either way, you're safe. America will give you Social Security Benefits for your disability. A disability that you wouldn't have if you hadn't taken up drugs/alcohol in the first damn place. And since I'm the one paying the taxes that pays for your Social Security Benefits then I have every right to say, "Fuck you. I hate you, and if I find you in a dark alley you better pray you're faster than me."

There, I've said my piece on this topic. Go ahead and scream all you like. I enjoy the read. LOL!!